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Dogs - Collars and Leashes

There are a variety of training collars available, each with a specific purpose. Some training collars have features to help correct the dog from tugging on the leash, barking, or to prevent the dog from leaving the property.

Types of Collars

The primary training collar is a metal-link chain collar that connects with a circular ring, which allows for the collar to be snapped then released. When the collar is snapped and released the dog will be attentive to get further cues from its owner. This collar is often used in basic training and is very common for any size of dog and breed.

There is also a prong collar (also known as an inverted choke chain) which is made of metal links with blunt teeth that point inward into the dogs neck when pulled or tightened. This is supposed to mimic the corrective bite another dog would give, but many people and animal rights activists are against this method of training believing that it hurts the dog.

The radio-controlled collar can be used to keep the dog within an invisible fenced area or to “correct” the dog when it barks. These collars emit a sound, vibrate, or apply electrical stimulation. Many people believe these types of collars are unnecessary and cruel so it should not be used as a first measure.

There are also muzzle collars which go over the dog’s mouth which can prevent it from barking and biting. Many dog owners prefer this type of collar because it does not pull on the dog’s neck. Harness collars are quite popular for small and large dogs alike. This type of collar goes around the dogs upper body which is thought to give the handler greater control. This type of collar is also thought to be the more humane choice because it does not tug on the dog’s neck because the pressure is more equally distributed on the dog’s body. To find out which collar is best for your particular dog research online or ask your local vet for recommendations.

Many dogs will also wear a decorative collar when indoors. Decorative collars can be made of a variety of materials including leather and plastic. This type of collar usually has an identification tag on it which includes the dog’s name, information about up-to-date shots, address and a number to call in case the dog gets lost. Do not be discouraged if your dog still tugs or barks when you get it its first collar because it still has to get used to wearing it.  Good places to look for dog collars include: Petsmart, hotdogcollars and bigdogboutique.

Dog Leashes

You need to have the right dog leash for your dog to go along with the right collar. There are many different leashes to choose from and they depend on your dog’s activity, size, and breed. The thickness and material used to make up the leash depends on how big the dog is. Many leashes are made of leather or nylon, which are known for being strong and durable. Many dogs can tend to have an issue with chewing, so make sure you take the leash off when the dog is not being walked to ensure its safety.

When walking your dog in residential areas your dog should have approximately six to eight feet of lead, but the length of lead also depends on the temperament and manners of your dog. If you are at all worried about your dog jumping up at strangers or other animals make sure that you keep the lead closer to you to prevent that from happening. If you are in an environment (trail, forest area) where you feel comfortable keeping your dog with a longer lead you can use a retractable leash. The length of a retractable leash can be chosen by the handler with the click of a button. This feature allows the dog to have the ability to go further or come closer based on the retractable aspect. Retractable leashes can seem quite expensive but they are a great investment because it can double as your everyday walking leash and leash for trails. Make sure you find a leash that is comfortable for your hand as you will be holding on to the plastic part for the majority of the time you are walking. Keeping your dog on a leash ensures that it and others safe.  If you do venture into off-leash territory make sure you have a non-aggressive and obedient dog that will listen to your commands. There are a variety of different stores that you can shop at for leashes including: Petco, Mountaindogproducts and Collarsandmore.

The right collar and leash can help make handling your dog a breeze. You may even end up with multiple collars and leashes, each servicing a different purpose for your dog. Keeping your dog on a leash is the best practice, unless you know an area to be safe for your dog to go without. There are many dog parks that allow dogs to interact and play off-leash, allowing for fun and exercise. Click here for a  list of off-leash dog parks in the United States and Canada.